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A fun way to keep your autistic children active and prepare them for an independent life in the future is to engage them with household chores.
Participating in household chores with your autistic children also provides the opportunity to bond and spend time with them.
Here are five suitable household chores for autistic children.
Laundry is an excellent household chore you can encourage your autistic child to participate in.
For children, learning how to do laundry teaches them basic personal hygiene and improves their sense of responsibility.
Moreso, learning how to wash either by hand or by a washing machine is a daily living skill they will need as they grow.
Also, you can encourage your autistic children to take up feeding your pets as a chore.
Besides being fun for children, feeding and caring for pets improves social behavior and aids relaxation.
The relaxing effect it provides is also a good form of therapy for autism.
Furthermore, meal preparation is a helpful chore autistic children can participate in to hone their culinary skills.
They get a first-hand experience with the ingredients that constitute each meal and are introduced to a wide variety of new flavors.
Read on to learn five suitable household chores for autistic children:
Laundry is one of the suitable household chores for autistic children, and there are many ways you can modify it to make it fun.
You can get them involved in folding clothes, putting them away, ironing them, or in the laundry process itself.
Regardless of which aspect of laundry you want to teach your autistic child, it is essential to start small.
Test out their laundry skills by encouraging them to fold their own laundry.
Let them work on their underwear, socks, towels, and other small clothing before moving to more complicated ones.
You can then proceed to teach them how to sort out the folded laundry.
To make this chore easier, attach a colorful picture of a specific type of clothing to the drawer they belong to and label it.
The picture will serve as a visual roadmap to where each cloth belongs.
In addition, encouraging your autistic child to do their laundry either by hand or with a washing machine improves their daily living skills and overall attitude to other chores.
Your autistic child should learn how to use a washing machine, iron, fold clothes, and sort clothes to the right places.
Dishwashing is one of the suitable chores for autistic children to make them a functional help in the house.
Moreso, teaching your autistic child how to wash the dishes and keep the kitchen environment tidy encourages disciple and cleanliness and promotes the use of excellent motor skills.
Younger children can be taught to put away unbreakable dishes and sort out utensils.
However, as they grow, introduce them to basic washing tools for cleaning dishes, like sponges, towels, plastic scrubbers, detergent, and rubber gloves, to kickstart their cleaning journey.
Also, you can teach your autistic child how to use a dishwasher safely.
If you ask them to rinse the dishes first, as is the standard procedure before lining them in the dishwasher, ensure to state the reasons.
This allows them to see the importance of every step and encourages them to follow through with the entire washing process.
Furthermore, teaching your child how to handle glassware and sharp objects is essential to ensure their safety. Give hands-on instructions and step-by-step guidelines they can follow while doing dishes.
Including your autistic children in your meal preparation routine will keep them organized, introduce them to new flavors and ultimately improve their culinary skills.
Thus, food preparation is one of the suitable chores for autistic children that will help them greatly in the long run.
You can start by introducing your autistic child to essential cooking ingredients, with consideration to their sensory issues.
Give a brief explanation of the benefits and applications of these ingredients, so they will know which ingredient goes best for a cooking recipe.
It is important to avoid ingredients that might affect your autistic child's sensory processing.
Also, you can teach your autistic child how to use kitchen utensils and equipment safely.
Teach them how to use sharp kitchen utensils and handle using kitchen equipment like the blender and microwave.
To make it easier, you can list basic kitchen rules and paste them on your cooking wall(far from heat sources) to serve as a reminder.
In addition, to improve your child's food preparation skills, allow them to plan their own meal from the beginning to the end.
Encourage your autistic child to plan a menu, prepare a grocery list, and make their meal independently.
Research shows that children with autism can benefit greatly from feeding and caring for a pet.
Asides from being one of the suitable chores for autistic children, feeding pets and interacting with them facilitates relaxation, improves social behaviors, and teaches children responsibility.
Provide step-by-step instructions using a visual aid to show your autistic child what they need to do to feed your pet.
You can also make a schedule displaying the type of feed the pet should have and the time the pet should be fed so your child can perform their chore efficiently even without your supervision.
Within the topic of caring for a pet, grooming is also important.
Most autistic children love playing with water, and a good dog bath can be both a chore and a fun activity for them.
Let your autistic child help with rinsing and drying the pets, and watch how much giggles ensue!
Ensure the pet is well-trained and well-behaved to avoid stress for your autistic child.
For extra precautions, ensure your child is within eye range while they perform their chore.
Involving your autistic child in setting the dining table for meal time will help improve their organization skills and give them a sense of responsibility.
Thus, setting the table is one of the suitable chores for autistic children.
Start by teaching your autistic child what a basic table setting looks like.
A napkin with a fork should be placed on the left-hand side of the plate, while a spoon and knife should be on the right-hand side.
Whatever format you decide on, ensure it is simple and easily understandable for your autistic child.
Once your child gets the idea, allow them to set the table.
Ensure you oversee their work from a distance and make any corrections using positive reinforcement.
Remember that autistic children are encouraged to put in more effort when praised, so acknowledge their effort in front of the family during mealtime.
Also, changing routines or adding surprises may confuse and overwhelm your autistic child.
So, ensure you maintain the same table setting and dining etiquette rules for every mealtime.
Including chores in your autistic children's routines at a young age will serve them many benefits as they grow older.
Research shows that children who engage in chores become more responsible, have higher self-esteem, cope with difficult situations better, learn life skills, and build self-reliance.
Thus as a parent/caregiver, you can support your autistic children and help them grow to become their better selves by encouraging them to take on household chores.
Suitable household chores for autistic children include laundry, feeding and caring for pets, meal preparations, dishwashing, and setting the table.
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